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Forum:Space Places
Topic:Natl Museum of USAF: Space Gallery expansion
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According to Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, the museum's fourth building will provide increased public awareness of the Air Force mission by giving visitors greater access to our legacy of aircraft, missiles, cyber expertise and other elements of Air Force heritage.

"As the Air Force's window to the public, the museum is where the people come to learn about the history, mission and evolving capabilities of America's Air Force and about the Airmen who are truly the foundation of everything we do," said James. "In today's Air Force, we not only cherish our legacy; we live it every day with integrity, service, and excellence. These core values guide our actions and make us the best Air Force in the world. I thank the Air Force Museum Foundation for their support and assistance in making this facility a reality."

In December 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, awarded the contract for the building to Turner Construction Co. of Washington, D.C. Since then a significant amount of planning and design work has taken place to meet the museum's requirements for the fourth building, said Turner Construction Co. Vice President and General Manager Kyle E. Rooney.

"Since the fourth building is similar in size and shape to the museum's three existing hangars, we had some good templates to work from, but we also have some unique challenges to navigate through as well," said Rooney. "Innovative solutions are part of what we do, so we are looking forward to getting started with the construction phase."

Although the construction phase is set to begin, the Air Force Museum Foundation will continue fundraising toward their campaign goal of $46 million, which would provide for further options such as theatrical lighting, a west tow path, and an additional café, as well as educational requirements including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Learning Nodes and wireless capability in the building," said Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. Chairman Fran Duntz.

"We're extremely pleased to assist the Air Force with financing for the fourth building, and we're fully committed to achieving our campaign goal so that the entire potential of the fourth building can be realized," said Duntz.

Included among the many benefits of the fourth building will be the relocation of the popular Presidential and R&D Gallery aircraft including SAM 26000 (Air Force One), which served eight presidents from President Kennedy to President Clinton, and the only remaining XB-70, from a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to the main museum campus where they will be accessible to all visitors. In addition, the museum will be able to display some artifacts that had previously been kept in storage such as the Titan IV launch vehicle, or kept outside such as the C-141 Hanoi Taxi and the C-130E.

For Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson, the educational possibilities including those involving STEM is what is really exciting to envision.

"When you look at the various aircraft, the unique spacecraft and unparalleled technology that will be on display in the fourth building, then you can begin to see why it will be the perfect setting for educational programs - especially those that inspire and motivate our youth toward an Air Force or STEM career," Hudson said. "Many museums may focus largely on the achievements of the past, but at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, we also are a catalyst for the achievements of the future."

The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. was established in 1960 as a philanthropic, non-profit organization to assist the Air Force in the development and expansion of the facilities of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and to undertake and advance programs and activities supporting the museum. The Foundation raises funds through its membership program, the Air Force Museum Theatre, Museum Store, flight simulators and Valkyrie Café, as well as from direct donations.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the service's national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story from the beginning of military flight to today's war on terrorism. It is free to the public and features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum.

MrSpace86I just visited this museum a few weeks ago and it was Disneyland. I dare say it is better than the Udvar-Hazy! What an incredible place and I look forward to visiting this new hangar they are building. Truly world class and out of this world (no pun intended ha).
onesmallstepYes it will be great to see the Presidential and research aircraft together, previously accessed only through limited tours. I visited in 2003 during the Dayton airshow celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight.

With the new hangar addition, you will need at least two days to get through everything, much less read or glance at every description. And yes, Udvar-Hazy could learn from the museum in putting everything into more historical context, maybe create a 'living diorama' or two. But maybe limited space precludes this.

kr4mulaThe new hangar will only house a subset of the R&D aircraft currently on display, much to my chagrin.
Robert PearlmanNational Museum of the U.S. Air Force release
Missile and Space Gallery to close temporarily for fourth building construction

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force's Missile and Space Gallery will close temporarily beginning Dec. 8 for approximately five months for construction linking the gallery to the museum's new fourth building.

Plans for the fourth building project design call for the Missile and Space Gallery's exterior wall panels to be removed on the south side to form new entrances on the first floor and mezzanine levels. Once completed, the 224,000 square foot fourth building, which is scheduled to open to the public in the spring of 2016, will offer the public both ground and upper level views of all the new galleries (Presidential Aircraft, Research and Development, Space and Global Reach).

Artifacts and exhibits listed here will not be accessible while the gallery is closed, except for the Apollo 15 Command Module, Dyna-Soar X-20A, Aeroject Aerobee Rocket and the Gen. T.D. White and "Five Stars in Space" exhibits.

Although the public will not have direct access to most of the artifacts in the Missile and Space Gallery during the closure, a video featuring those exhibits will be available for view at the gallery entrance.

The public is also encouraged to explore the gallery online by visiting the museum's Virtual Tour. The virtual tour allows visitors to take a virtual, 3-D, self-guided tour of the entire museum. Visitors can navigate from gallery to gallery either by using a drop-down map or by following navigational arrows connecting the individual nodes. Icons indicate hotspots where the visitor can get additional information such as videos, audio and links to online resources.

According to Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson, although the closure of the Missile and Space Gallery creates a short-term inconvenience, the long-term benefits are well worth the wait.

"The fourth building will bring many advantages including the relocation of the popular Presidential and R&D Gallery aircraft from a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to the main museum campus where they will be accessible to all visitors along with the Global Reach Gallery and an expanded Space Gallery," said Hudson. "In addition, we will be able to display some artifacts that had previously been kept in storage such as the Titan IV launch vehicle, or kept outside such as the C-141 Hanoi Taxi and the C-130E."

The $35.4 million fourth building is being privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the museum's facilities.

With construction well under way, the foundation continues to fundraise toward their campaign goal of $46 million, which would provide for further options and requirements such as the west tow path, west tow path extension, theatrical lighting, Titan 4B stand, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Learning Nodes and wireless capability in the building, said Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. Chairman Fran Duntz.

"We remain steadfast in working toward our campaign goal so that the vast capabilities of the fourth building can be utilized, and we greatly appreciate everyone who has contributed to make this happen," said Duntz.

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